When it comes to the National Hockey League’s two conferences, for a long time now, East is least and West is best. While Eastern Conference teams have tended to dominate the individual honors, when it comes to the big bauble, the one that matters most, the Stanley Cup continues to go West. From 2007-15, seven of nine Stanley Cup titles have been earned by Western Conference teams. And the two titles won by Eastern Conference teams both came down to a Game 7 outcome, so it was that close to being a clean sweep for the West.
The depth of talented teams within the Western Conference is evident in the teams that have won the Stanley Cup during the past decade. They’re run the gauntlet from Presidents’ Trophy winners (the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks) to teams that barely slipped into postseason play as a No. 8 seed (the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings).
NHL Western Conference Betting Lines Today
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NHL Western Conference Standings Right Now
The up to date NHL Western Conference standings will be found here and one thing you will notice immediately is the closeness of the teams in the conference.
During the 2015-16 NHL season, just seven points separated first from fifth overall in the Western Conference and each of those teams garnered at least 102 points. In 2014-15, eight points was the difference between first and sixth in the conference and a team required 97 points just to qualify for the playoffs in the Western Conference.
The Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks all won 40 games during the 2014-15 campaign and failed to earn a playoff position.
How To Win At Western Conference Betting
The NHL’s Western Conference has come the closest to producing what could be termed a dynasty during the NHL’s salary cap era. The Chicago Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups between 2010-15 (2009-10, 2012-13, 2014-15) and the Los Angeles Kings won a pair of Cups between 2011-12 and 2013-14.
You have to go all the way back to 2004-06 to find an instance where the Eastern Conference was able to produce successive Stanley Cup winners and the only Eastern team to produce multiple Stanley Cup wins since 2000 are the New Jersey Devils (1999-2000, 2002-03). When they were still situated in the Western Conference, the Detroit Red Wings were the last team to win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
For the most part, you should expect close, low-scoring games when Western Conference teams meet. While the Dalllas Stars led the NHL with 267 goals scored during the 2015-16 season, only three of the top-10 scoring NHL teams were from the Western Conference. But three of the top four best defensive teams resided in the West.
Seven Western Conference teams won at least 21 road games during the 2015-16 campaign and the Anaheim Ducks posted the best power play (23.1 per cent) and penalty kill (87.2 per cent) in the league. The NHL’s leading scorer (Patrick Kane, Chicago, 106 points) and the only player to produce a 100-point season, as well as the top rookie scorer (Artemi Panarin, Chicago, 77 points) also were Western Conference players.
The Eastern Conference may still grab the majority of the Art Ross, Rocket Richard and Hart Trophies, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of high-end talent in the Western Conference. Three of the NHL’s 40-goal scorers during the 2014-15 season – Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (46), Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars (41) and Vladimir Tarasneko of the St. Louis Blues (40) – potted their goals for Western Conference teams.
The West is also loaded with cutch performers. Kane led the NHL in power-play points (37), Joe Paveski of the San Jose Sharks netted an NHL-leading 11 game-winning goals and Tyler Toffoil (plus-35) and Anze Kopitar (plus-34) of the Los Angeles Kings were 1-2 in the league in plus-minus.